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After White House Meeting, Sanders Reiterates He'll Take Issues To July Convention

President Obama walks down the Collonade of the White House with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders ahead of their meeting Thursday morning.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Obama walks down the Collonade of the White House with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders ahead of their meeting Thursday morning.

Updated at 12:44 p.m. ET

President Obama met with Bernie Sanders on Thursday morning at the White House. Now that Hillary Clinton has clinched the Democratic nomination, the question on the minds of many Democrats is when the Vermont senator will give up his fight for the party's presidential nomination.

Speaking at the White House after the meeting, Sanders reiterated that he would compete in the D.C. primary next Tuesday and take his campaign issues to the July Democratic National Convention. He also affirmed his commitment to working on issues of income inequality. "We will continue doing everything we can to oppose the drift that currently exists toward and oligarchic form society where a handful of billionaires exercise enormous power over our political, economic and media life," Sanders said. He added that he looks forward to meeting with Clinton "to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent."

The meeting came at Sanders' request, according to the White House. According to a statement, the two are expected to "continue their conversation about the significant issues at stake in this election that matter most to America's working families."

It's a delicate dance. Obama told Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday in a taping of NBC's The Tonight Show that he hopes the party will be able to "pull things together."

"What happens during primaries," Obama said, "you get a little ouchy. Everybody does."

Obama is expected to endorse the presumptive nominee Clinton in the near future, and to begin campaigning for her.

While several of Sanders' Democratic colleagues in the Senate think it's time Sanders gave up his quest, Vice President Biden said people should "give him time" to make that decision.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was also conciliatory on Thursday, telling reporters that Sanders "has to make his own decisions."

"He knows what's on the line," Pelosi said. "And he should be treated no differently than other candidates. He should be allowed the opportunity and the respect on how he brings us to a place that helps us advance the causes he's been fighting for."

Sanders will also meet later Thursday with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, and holds a rally in Washington on Thursday evening, in advance of the Washington, D.C., Democratic primary next Tuesday.

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NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.
Amita Kelly is a Washington editor, where she works across beats and platforms to edit election, politics and policy news and features stories.
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